At Home Lisette Chavez

This new project was born out of an effort to feel more connected and learn up-to-date information artists and curators across the country. Every week, creators from across different disciplines share their new projects, quarantine hobbies and what gives them hope about art today. 

Lisette Chavez is currently working and living in San Antonio, Texas.

Is there a particular project for work, either new or ongoing, that is capturing your attention? What is it and why are you drawn to work on it at this moment?
I recently completed a body of work for a solo exhibition titled, From the Horse’s Mouth here in San Antonio. The whole project started when I was having dinner at a restaurant. I noticed that the families around me were not engaged with one another; every person was on their phone or an iPad. Everyone was ignoring each other. It made me appreciate the rich folklore that my parents shared with me throughout my childhood.

Since then, I’ve been concerned with technology and the effect it’s having on communication and traditions. I worry whether the folklore in our families will be forgotten. For this body of work, I recreated—through drawing and installation-based work—the stories that terrified me as a child. I wanted to bring my family’s oral history to life. 

I hope that viewers see this body of work and realize the importance of preserving their family heritage during a time with increasing technological distractions. 

Have you picked up any new hobbies?
Gardening for sure! I don’t think I’ve ever had the patience for it, but I really love working on our yard and seeing all of the small plants that we’re growing. It’s not only a relaxing hobby, it’s great exercise. Also, I love opera and I’ve been really into the free Nightly Met Opera Streams. 

What is the best meal you have made during this time?
Just the other evening, I roasted cherry tomatoes, broccoli florets, zucchini and mushrooms in olive oil with a bit of salt and pepper. I added some angel hair pasta and sprinkled some roasted pine nuts and freshly grated parmesan cheese on top. It was YUM!

What are you most looking forward to after being at home?
I love the desert and can’t wait to drive out west to visit New Mexico and Arizona. I also love thrifting and antiquing, so I’m looking forward to shopping with friends. 

What gives you hope (if anything) about Art today?
The pandemic is changing the way we view art; it’s forcing us to be more creative and personable. One thing I love is that I’ve seen more support for artists and creatives. This might be by sharing their work on social media, raising or donating money to help artists or greater interest in collecting artwork. I think this whole situation has forced us to slow down and be more appreciative of one another. I certainly hope it stays this way.